Watching your Blood Sugar

Glucose is the main energy source for the central nervous system. This means that blood glucose level, often referred to as blood sugar is a key part of the human physiology. If blood sugar levels drop below a set point for a prolonged period of time then fainting can occur, it can also lead to comas and even death. Extremely elevated levels of blood sugar, such as those that are seen with diabetes sufferers are also harmful, although the short term issues that are related to diabetes are generally less dramatic.

Blood sugar levels have an important effect on the aging process. Glucose is not only a key fuel for cellular use but it is also a potentially damaging substance when it comes to tissues and cells. Glucose can react with DNA, proteins and other important molecules. This reaction is known as glycation. The most sever consequence of glycation is known as cross linking with is when chemical bridges are formed between large molecules and proteins. A substance that has been cross linked is generally harder, more likely to tear or crack and also sustains a loss of elasticity. A good example of cross linking is what happens if you leave a rubber mat out in the sun to dry. It gets hard and often cracks. In the body, cross linking is a symptom of aging. It can cause hardening of the arteries, stiff joints and wrinkles. Unsurprisingly, people with diabetes suffer from high levels of cross linking due to their elevated levels of glucose. In diabetics the cross linking can be identified as increased levels of skin damage, as well as heart damage. Even blood sugar levels that are raised in small amounts can cause signs of aging. Glucose intolerance, otherwise known as carbohydrate intolerance means that a person is border line diabetic. Carbohydrate intolerance is a very common condition that affects close to 50% of the populations of developed countries. In the majority of carbohydrate intolerant people, blood sugar levels which are normal between means are at unacceptably high levels immediately after eating.

It has been scientifically proven that correcting carbohydrate intolerance can be one of the most important things that you can do to slow down the aging process.

How do you find out if you have carbohydrate intolerance? There is a test called an Oral Glucose Tolerance test (OGTT) which will enable your doctor to tell you if you have carbohydrate intolerance. The first step is to measure your fasting blood sugar level. Next you are fed a meal that has a normal level of glucose in it. After you eat the meal your blood sugar levels are measured in half hourly intervals for the next two to three hours. This allows the Doctor to determine how fast your glucose levels return to normal after you eat carbohydrates. Being overweight and being over 40 are the key factors for carbohydrate intolerance.

How to improve carbohydrate intolerance

It is possible to improve the rate of carbohydrate metabolism which will in turn slow the aging process as well as reduce the possibility of diabetes. It is a good idea for most people over the age of 30 to follow these steps as it will significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes or carbohydrate intolerance.

Lowering the negative effects of eating on blood sugar

When we eat, the enzymes that are present in the gastrointestinal tract are broken down into simple sugars, peptides and amino acids. These byproducts are comprised of relatively small molecules. Foods that are high in sugar like cake, pizza or ice cream are converted into glucose when you eat them. Glucose is a type of starch. It is a branched polymer that is comprised of multiple parts of glucose as well as sucrose which is a sugary substance that is made up of one glucose and one fructose molecule. When food is digested, the glucose is absorbed by the bloodstream which in turn raises the blood sugar levels. (This is referred to as the glycemic effect.) How large a rise this is depends on a number of factors: 1. what the level of glucose is in the food itself; 2. what kind of glucose is it? (Starch v. sugar); 3. Are there other ingredients in the food that will assist with the rate of the glucose absorption (an example would be fiber). Meals that don’t produce a large rise in blood sugar levels are healthier for the carbohydrate metabolism. A good rule of thumb is that in foods that are of the approximately equivalent nutritional value, those with a lesser glycemic effect should be favored. In other words it is better to eat whole meal bread than white bread.

Fiber and healthy eating

In the past, research showed fiber as fairly useless, non-nutrient filler that can be found in plant derived foods, it is now understood to be an important part of the food that we eat in terms of promoting longevity and good health. The chemical basis of fiber is based in the plant polymers and is based on polysaccharide chains, while starch is also a kind of polysaccharide, unlike starch, fiber cannot be easily digested by humans. Fiber generally passes through the digestive system partially or even fully intact. High levels of fiber in the diet make stools large and soft.

Fiber became a popular topic of discussion in the scientific community when it was noted that in the developing nations of Africa there is a significantly lower incidence of health issues like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, colon cancer, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis, all of which are quite common in the developed world. The average diet in the Africa was much higher in fiber. This lead scientists to hypothesize that one of the roles of fiber is to prevent obesity and disease. Many studies on the subject followed. The preventative or at least helpful effects of fiber in cases of carbohydrate intolerance and type II diabetes have now been proved by scientific studies. It has been proved that fiber decreases the rate at which glucose from food is absorbed into the bloodstream, thereby giving the body more time to process carbohydrates. This results in better carbohydrate metabolism and lower blood sugar. The effects of fiber on colon cancer have yet to be proved.

People in developed countries on average consume only one third of the daily recommended amounts of fiber. It is fairly simple to increase your fiber intake without the need for supplements. It is important to understand that fiber supplements, particularly if they are used improperly can lead to intestinal obstruction which is a serious health issues. Intestinal obstruction cannot occur as a result of eating high fiber foods.

Exercise and carbohydrate intolerance

Carbohydrate tolerance can be improved with a regular exercise regime. Regular exercise can also give you a variety of other health benefits as well, not to mention that it can be enjoyable. If you exercise outside you need to make sure that you remember to use products that will protect you from excessive wind and sun.

Supplements and carbohydrate intolerance

Many nutrients and botanicals can have a positive effect on the rate of carbohydrate metabolism. Lipoic acid can be used to lower glucose levels in the blood. Certain adaptogens have been shown to improve carbohydrate intolerance and even to reverse the beginning stages of type II diabetes. Adaptogens can be used to allow the body to adapt to different kinds of stress and also to regulate certain physiological aberrations. The majorities of adaptogens is made from natural plants and are very safe if used in recommended dosages.

Drugs and carbohydrate intolerance

There are also drugs that can be used to lower the levels of blood sugar in the body. The majority of they can have bad side effects. For people who are confirmed as being diabetic the trade offs of the drugs are worth using. It is not a good idea to use drugs to lower blood sugar levels if you only have mild carbohydrate intolerance. There are much safer ways to dealing with the problem.

In order to keep you skin looking healthy you need to maintain a diet that is well balanced nutritionally. While healthy eating may not produce striking results, not eating a healthy diet will cause your skin to age much faster.
The good health of every organ in the body is dependent on vitamins and minerals; the skin is one of those organs. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be particularly harmful to the skin and can result in accelerated aging or skin disease.
Non-essential nutrients are the ones that the body can do without or else are synthesized by the body productively. Essential nutrients are the ones that body cannot make itself and cannot do without either. The third type of nutrient are the conditionally essential ones, these can be synthesized by the body if it is working at optimal efficiency.
One of the major causes of aging is free radical damage. As has been discussed earlier, free radicals are the indiscriminate and highly reactive chemicals that have the ability to damage the structure of all living cells.
One of the main fat soluble antioxidant vitamins found in the body is vitamin E. It have protective functions within the cellular membrane, the lipoproteins and other structures that are oily in nature. Skin is particularly high in unsaturated fatty acids so using vitamin E (both topically and orally) is very beneficial.
When silicone is mentioned in terms of beauty the first thought that most have is break implants, most of which are done with silica gel implants. Interestingly that isn’t the only use for silicone in the beauty market. There is actually a safer and more natural use for it, that is in food supplements that are rich in bioavailable forms of silicone.
The cost of a skin care treatment should not be indicative of its value for the skin. In other words, just because a remedy or supplement is expensive doesn’t mean that it is good. Cheaper remedies can be very effective. A good example of this is the fact that regular exercise which can cost nothing or close to it can have very positive effects on your cardiovascular system. Eating less carbohydrates and cutting down on your caloric intake can have life lengthening effects that are cheap and easy to achieve.